10 conclusions from Paris-Roubaix

Here’s a great piece on Cycling News that considers 10 things we should take away from Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix, including the fact that Bradley Wiggins has “found a new niche” and that this has been John Degenkolb’s “spring of confirmation”.

Here’s an excerpt from the piece, about Degenkolb:

A breakthrough win in Gent-Wevelgem and a fine second place in Paris-Roubaix backed up the general consensus that the 25-year-old is far more than ‘just a sprinter’. Tactically astute, never intimidated by some of his more illustrious rivals, Degenkolb was willing to take the race by the scruff of the neck and dictate the action on Sunday.

Check out the full article at Cycling News here.

Driver in Horner training crash identified

Chris Horner (Lampre-Merida) is still recovering in hospital after a crash in training over the weekend and while the circumstances around the incident still aren’t entirely clear, Gazzetta dello Sport is reporting that the identity of the driver is now known.

Image: Lampre-Merida

Image: Lampre-Merida

The driver, a man in his 70s from Milan who has a holiday house near Lake Como, seemingly didn’t realise that he had hit Horner.

The American Vuelta a Espana champion suffered a punctured lung, four broken ribs and a cut to his head. Horner is almost certain to miss the Giro d’Italia (which he was training for) and is instead likely to focus on the Tour de France.

Click here to read more.

Contador previews the cobbles ahead of the Tour de France

Paris-Roubaix is over for another year and while the next edition of Hell of the North is a year away, the next major race to head down the famous cobbled roads of northern France will be none other than the Tour de France.

Reconnaissance of the 5 stage of Tour de France 2014

The 156km Stage 5 will feature nine pave sectors which were included in Paris-Roubaix. Tour de France hopeful Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) was out riding the cobbles yesterday as reconnaissance and to try out some new equipment for Le Tour.

“It has gone well, I’ve seen the first part of the stage in the car and last 75km by bike,” Contador said. “I have especially studied the equipment, which is most important here.”

The 2010 Tour de France featured cobblestones as well, and saw riders like Frank Schleck crash out. The stage will prove to be an important early-race test for the GC contenders who will need to get through the stage unharmed.

“Clearly the most critical will be the first sections, because there the group will still be very large and there will be more fighting to get into in front of the group,” Contador said.

Contador was seen riding a Specialized Roubaix with Zipp 303 wheels and trying tyres with different pressures.

Click here to read more at Cycling News.

Sagan still has work to do to win a Monument: Cannondale manager

Despite another consistent Classics season, Peter Sagan (Cannondale) is still yet to walk away with the Monuments victory that many think he will one day claim.

Paris - Roubaix 2014

“I finished the first part of my season with a positive signal,” Sagan said. “Not all the races finished as I expected, but anyway it was a good experience.”

“I’m satisfied for my place, even if didn’t win or get on the podium,” Sagan said after finishing sixth at Paris-Roubaix. “Given what I accomplished today, after a long campaign in the North, I’m fine. Now I know I can be competitive in race like this. I know I can improve.”

Cannondale manager Robert Amadio agrees, telling VeloNews:

“He needs to improve his tactics in the key moments of these races. These are things that you understand with the passing years by making mistakes. When it all comes easily — which it seems it did in the last four years — everything seems normal. That moment that it doesn’t come easily, you have to rely on experience and on maturity. You have to use your smarts, when to stay on the wheel instead of attacking.”

Sagan will skip the Ardennes Classics, which start this weekend with Amstel Gold Race.

Click here to read more at VeloNews.

Arnaud Demare extends with FDJ.fr through 2016

FDJ.fr has announced that its 2011 U23 World Champion Arnaud Demare has signed a contract extension and will be with the French outfit through 2016.

VDK 3 Days of De Panne - Koksijde 2014

“I am very happy in the FDJ.fr team, very proud of the confidence they have shown me, and very happy to continue in this beautiful blue jersey,” Démare said.

Though generally regarded as a pure sprinter, Demare has shown that he can time trial and race well on the cobbles as well. Indeed Demare sees himself as a sprinteur-rouleur: a strong rider in a sprint finish, but one that can attack and win solo as well.

“When I was younger, people said, ‘Démare is a sprinter, Démare is a sprinter’ and one day it made me angry so in a race in Normandy, I attacked in the second lap and I ended up with a four minute lead.”

Click here to read more at the FDJ website.

Contador leads WorldTour rankings as Terpstra leaps up the ladder

After a menacing start to the 2014 season — including overall victories at Tirreno Adriatico and Pais Vasco, and second overall at the Volta ao Algarve and the Volta Catalunya — Alberto Contador leads the UCI’s individual WorldTour rankings.

Tirreno - Adriatico 2014 stage - 7 ITT

The Spaniard sits 48 points clear of Fabian Cancellara (Trek) whose podium place at Paris-Roubaix helped reduce the gap from 108 points.

Niki Terpstra’s win at Paris-Roubaix — not to mention a stage win and the overall at the Tour of Qatar, a win at Dwaars door Vlaanderen and second at E3 Harelbeke — sees the Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider slot into third in the rankings. Sep Vanmarcke (Belkin) is fourth ahead of Peter Sagan (Cannondale).

Meanwhile Spain leads the nation rankings ahead of Belgium and France while Omega Pharma-QuickStep comfortably leads the team rankings ahead of Katusha and Ag2r. The next WorldTour race is Amstel Gold, this Sunday.

Click here to see the full rankings.

Hawthorn Cycling Club Good Friday criterium

The good folks down at Hawthorn Cycling Club are putting on a big day of Good Friday racing down at the Yarra Boulevard ‘Teardrop’ (the site of The Bike Lane’s Hot Lap) to raise money for charity.

All proceeds raised from the racing will go to the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal. All entries need to be completed online via the Cycling Victoria website.

The racing kicks off from 11am with racing for all grades from juniors through to A Grade. Online entries are closed, but entries will be accepted on the day for Men’s C + D, Women’s A, B, C, and Juniors U13, U15, U17.

Click here for more information.

How the race was won: Paris-Roubaix

We’re big fans of Cosmo Catalano’s work over at Cyclocosm and if you haven’t checked out his “How the race was won” video from Paris-Roubaix, you should. Click on the image below to get through to the video.

Paris - Roubaix 2014

Full highlights package from the women’s Tour of Flanders

It takes the UCI a little while to put these highlights packages together, but they’re definitely worth a watch. Here’s the half-hour package from the women’s Tour of Flanders last weekend, the third round in the women’s World Cup.

MiniBrake: making cycling safer for kids?

Here’s a crowdsourced project from Hungary that aims to make cycling safer for kids. It’s called the MiniBrake and it’s a remote-controlled braking device that attaches to a kids bike and can be deployed, by nearby parents, to slow their kid’s bike in the case of impending danger. Have a look here:

For more information, visit the MiniBrake page on IndieGoGo.

How to make a sick edit

This has little to do with road cycling, but this video from the guys at nmbc (who brought us the great How to Be a Road Biker video) is still great. It’s a cheeky look at how to make a slick MTBing video aka “a sick edit”.

Hopefully they make one that’s road cycling-related soon.

The Rocacorba Recap

And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed yesterday at CyclingTips:

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Today’s feature image comes from Jered Gruber and was shot during the IAM reconnaissance of Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix.